Two weeks in a row we get this done? Have we finally found the “Ask Dayton” handle? SOMEBODY CALL CNN!
That’s right, sports fans: for the second week in a row we’ve got ourselves a new “Ask Dayton” query as part of this week’s episode of the G and T Show. Hosts Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull (along with Mike Medeiros, who’s really the glue that keeps everything from flying off in five billion directions), supposedly paused in the course of their discussions of many things Star Trek to read aloud the answer to this week’s query:
Now that the TV writer’s strike has some distance from it, what do you see as the results being for us, the consumer?
Also, what do you think of the court saying NCAA football players can unionize?
Thanks Devil Dog!
The writer’s strike? Can somebody check the date-time stamp on the original e-Mail for this question, and make sure it didn’t get trapped in somebody’s spam queue for a presidential administration or two?
I mean, the last strike wrapped up back in early 2008, right? What’s happened to the television and film landscape since then? I don’t know about anyone else, but I remember thinking at the time that the effects weren’t all that tangible. Yes, pretty much every scripted show was impacted to one degree or another, but many of the shows I was watching back then either had enough scripts written to mitigate the gap or even finish out their seasons without too much fuss. Still, several series ended up with shortened seasons. There also was an increase in “reality TV” offerings, as I recall, most of which was forgettable shit, though I think we got an additional season of The Amazing Race, which is one of the few reality competition shows I truly enjoy.
The biggest disappointment for me as a TV consumer was that certain shows either were postponed or cancelled outright. 24 ended up going almost a full year between the end of the strike and the premiere of its next season, and we lost The 4400 before it might’ve given us a fifth and final season to wrap up all its storylines. Another show cut down too early was Journeyman, which I would’ve happily continued watching if it had been given a second season. On the other hand, the horrible Bionic Woman remake and that stupid Caveman sitcom along with several other puddles of liquefied dog shit got yanked, so that was some good news, at least.
What were the long term effects of the strike, if any? Beyond the cancellation or delay of favorite series (along with several that are better utilized as enhanced interrogation techniques), I don’t know that there’s been any major effects on we the consumers. So we did without some TV shows for a while. I think we all muddled through well enough. The strike was intended to bring attention to issues the television, radio and film writers felt needed addressing, and that was accomplished. What did it all mean? Essentially? There’s a shit ton of money to be had and made in Hollywood, and the men and women who put ideas to paper and set all those creative wheels into motion so that the studios can rake in those big bucks damn well deserve their fair slice of that pie. Of course, the strike also put a lot of people out of work as a consequence of shows shutting down production. I have no idea how many behind-the-scenes workers were affected, and to what degree. That’s the other side of the strike coin: the collateral damage inflicted on others in close proximity to the situation.
As for this business about college football players unionizing? If we’re talking about allowing players a means of organizing in order to better receive a redress of grievances and possibly protect them from abuse and exploitation, then I’m absolutely all for it. I don’t know if I agree with the notion of players receiving actual salaries, but I think there’s some discussion to be had about college athletes benefitting in some tangible way from their time and effort. Yes, they get scholarships in most cases. Meanwhile, the NCAA as an organization and the schools themselves pull in millions of dollars every year, the bulk of it on the backs of the men and women who participate in college sports.
Paying college athletes like employees may not be “the” answer, as I think that would—essentially—turn NCAA football into little more than a minor league for the NFL. I think it also would diminish the real reason most of these young men and women attend college in the first place: the opportunity to receive a world-class education.
On the other hand, only a very small percentage of college football players ever get that big ticket contract in the pros. In many cases, an injury short-circuits any aspirations of playing at the professional level. Current NCAA rules prohibit college athletes to have a job while attending school on a scholarship. That doesn’t even make any fucking sense on the face of it, but if that’s the way they want to play, then the university or NCAA should be paying every player some kind of a decent stipend. My understanding is that this happens in some cases, or that it’s a school-by-school thing, but fuck it: make it across the board. In situations where a player’s likeness is used to push merchandise (video games, for example), the player in question should damn straight be getting a piece of that action, the same way anyone else lending their image to such a product gets a check.
It’s not an easy question, and one answer won’t solve all the issues on the table. The players themselves seem divided on the issue, but I think it’s a discussion worth having. Hopefully a solution can be reached whereby everyone is happy, including the fans but most especially the players.
Wow. That was a pretty serious answer to a pretty interesting question, wasn’t it? Not our usual fare, and because of that I feel compelled to offer some sort of final remarks that’s up (or down) to my usual standards.
So, it’s in that spirit that I close with this: “Titty sprinkles.”
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #142 on May 11th, 2014. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
Thanks again to Nick, Terry and Mike for making me a part of their show.